This is a self portrait of nuclear bombs and atomic energy. It was assembled from unaltered documentary clips produced by governmental and industrial agencies during the 1940s and 50s and even 60s. We get inside views of this iconic technology not usually seen. The parade of images and voices are cinematic and riveting; at times nuclear is beautiful, then silly, and then horrifying. Yet the narration of the time reflects a nonchalant acceptance of atomic power as wholesome. On first viewing, this montage of found visual evidence seem ridiculous, campy, kitsch. Could anyone believed it? But on second view the propaganda is stark and scary. There's no overt preaching in this film; only the words and images of the time. I think this brilliant documentary should be mandatory for all students.
The Atomic Cafe
Directed by Jayne Loader and Kevin Rafferty
1982, 88 min
Available from Amazon
Rentable from Netflix